The funds will allow the City of Florence to hire 5 new officers. These funds were applied for by the City quite a while ago, but the announcement by the White House was the first time the City was informed of whether or not they would received a grant and if so, for how much. Police Chief Anson Shells has asked City Council for 18 new officers. With funding already obtained through other grants for three officers, this news today still leaves it up to the City to provide the remaining 10 officers needed.
However, as you can see from the amount above, hiring cops ain't cheap, so every little bit helps. I believe some of the money allocated goes towards training and equipment, as well as funding for the positions for three years. The Federal government has now lent a hand on 8 of the 18 we need, but City Council will have to step up to finish the job.
According to the release:
The Recovery Act grants, which will be administered by the U.S. Department of
Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the
federal agency’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program, provide much
needed financial support to state, local and tribal governments, and
will help the nation’s law enforcement agencies add and retain the manpower
needed to fight crime more effectively through community policing. The
Department of Justice received over 7,200 applications for more than 39,000
officer positions, representing a total of $8.3 billion in requested funding.
“These Recovery Act funds will pump much needed resources into
communities through a program with a proven track record,” said Attorney General
Holder. “The tremendous demand for these grants is indicative of both the tough
times our states, cities and tribes are facing, and the unyielding commitment by
law enforcement to making our communities safer.”
SC received $20,754,224 worth of grants to 45 different agencies. How did Florence do? Not to shabby. Only 4 others (N. Charleston-15, Charleston-19, Columbia-18 and Rock Hill-6) received funding for more cops than Florence did.
This funding coming right before the opening of the new police substation on Dargan Street (scheduled to open next week) brings Florence one step closer to solving our public safety issues.
So some good news for a Tuesday.